To be a disciple is to follow Jesus, even into the water. Like with Peter, Jesus beckons us, “Come closer to me. Be my disciple and learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I am the only way, so I require you to focus exclusively on me in your obedience.” Peter became distracted. As he sees the wind whipping across the waves, Peter takes his focus off Jesus, and he begins to sink into the water. His obedience is now double-minded, providing a profound object lesson in what happens when we try to serve two masters.
This is how our faith works: We want to walk on water; yet we insist on being able to focus on whatever we want. Sometimes Jesus, sometimes the wind and waves; sometimes Jesus, sometimes our careers and casual pursuits; sometimes Jesus; sometimes “the sin that so easily entangles”.
Today, when we choose to focus on our cares and worries, we elevate them to the same status as the promises of Jesus. Which is more important and which should demand our greater attention? The ability of Jesus to care and love us or the concerns we have about our circumstances? Rather than obeying the commands of Jesus, we demand He tolerate our distractions and double mindedness. We live within a mythology that says we can somehow follow Jesus yet pick and choose what commandments we will obey and when we’ll obey. But, if we want to walk on the water with Jesus, we must hear his directing us, ‘Don’t look at the waves; look at Me.’
“… Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!” Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?” Matthew 14:29-31 (MSG)
Yahweh, I know you have called me to step out in faith, to place my life in your hand. Father, at times, we know this can be difficult to do. It’s not always easy to follow where you are leading me. Like Peter, I cry out to you, and I hear your gentle voice, “It is me, don’t be afraid.” God continue to give me strength and courage, as I walk through the storms of fear and doubt, knowing that you are right there with. In Jesus name, Amen.
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